AP reports via the Colorado Sun on another Colorado state representative who was on the scene at last Wednesday’s deadly insurrectionist riot at the U.S. Capitol–actually a representative-elect, Ron Hanks of Fremont County, who will be sworn in to represent House District 60 tomorrow morning to succeed term-limited Rep. Jim Wilson:
[I]ncoming Colorado state Rep. Ron Hanks, a Republican from Fremont County, told a local radio station last week that he arrived for Trump’s rally at the Ellipse outside the White House early that Wednesday morning of the violence. The president used the occasion to urge supporters to “fight like hell.”
Hanks said he marched with supporters to the U.S. Capitol afterward. “I was a little surprised to see people already on the scaffolding, with the Trump flag, and so forth,” he told Heart of the Rockies Radio in Salida.
“From the standpoint of the violence, two of us went around to the back of building, which is where the next meeting was supposed to form up,” he said, “and by that time people had already entered the building.”
Another AP story with added local detail from the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi:
An incoming Colorado state representative, Republican Ron Hanks of Fremont County, was one of about a dozen lawmakers from at least nine states last week who marched to the U.S. Capitol to support overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win. Only one lawmaker was known to have gotten inside the Capitol and since was charged with a crime and resigned. Others have said they participated peacefully.
Make no mistake, Rep.-elect Hanks claims to be one of the “peaceful” participants outside the Capitol, although there remains some question about that since everyone who proceeded past the U.S. Capitol Police’s original security perimeter well away from the building itself, which is thousands of people, was arguably breaking the law.
We wanted to learn more about Rep.-elect Hanks, so we took a moment to listen to his interview on local radio in Salida where he discusses the momentous events of last Wednesday. That’s when we discovered that Rep.-elect Hanks had a lot more to say about Wednesday’s deadly riots at the Capitol than anybody has reported (beginning at 3:00):
HANKS: Now, the one thing that I thought was interesting, Dan, when I looked at the videos when I got home was, we didn’t see anybody wearing gas masks or helmets and I got to tell you I watch those guys dancing around like they were sparring with the police there and they had a lot more energy than I did and anybody else that had been standing out in the cold for 6 or 7 hours.
Uh, it does raise the question where did these people come from and I don’t think most people knew what was happening because they were still approaching and as we were leaving they were we were passing along news to them.
I don’t feel like it’s the same people. I think we have to consider the reality or the possibility at least that there were people wearing Trump material that weren’t Trump supporters that managed to make look good people look bad just by uh, blending in. [Pols emphasis] Can’t prove it now but I do want people to consider that as a possibility and I will tell you from first-hand standing there those people that I was around and talking to that that’s not the kind of people that that we met…
Ron Hanks can’t prove it, but that doesn’t stop him from speculating! We can’t prove Rep.-elect Hanks has a tiny penis and had to repeat second grade either, but if we want people to “consider that as a possibility,” apparently that’s fair game.
Speaking of fairness, we should note that this interview took place last Thursday morning, at the same time as lots of local Republicans including Rep. Mark Baisley, and Rep. Richard Champion with Wayne Laugesen of the Colorado Springs Gazette who marched on the Capitol Wednesday, were claiming Antifa and not Trump supporters had actually stormed the building. These allegations have not aged well as one authentic Trump “wackadoo” after another gets picked up in the FBI’s widening investigation. Perhaps by now Rep.-elect Hanks has a better answer, but he’s not responding to requests for comment.
There are two lessons here. One is for Republicans who were once again too quick to blame others instead of acknowledge the truth of what the ugly side of their own movement looks like today–and that’s the most charitable explanation, one that assumes they are not themselves culpable. The other lesson is for reporters covering what Republicans are saying about this event. These stories about Rep.-elect Hanks’ presence in the crowd outside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday failed to report Hanks’ outrageous denial of what was actually happening–and most importantly, which side is to blame. And that’s the most important part of what he said.
Now more than ever, Americans need to know the whole ugly stupid truth.